Interpol: eco crime ‘serious and organised’

Environmental crime such as ivory poaching and illegal logging has become “a form of serious, organised and often transnational crime”, Interpol’s executive director of police services told an international law enforcement summit.

Bernd Rossbach told the Unep- and Interpol-hosted event in Lyon, attended by representatives of 80 countries, that there was increasing evidence that eco crime was connected to other forms of serious and organised crime.

Interpol is now carrying out the largest anti-elephant ivory poaching operation ever mounted. Wildlife agents in 14 African countries have been raiding outlets and pursuing traders, in a crackdown on the multimillion pound industry. Through its Operation Worthy, as it is being called, Interpol aims to stifle the increasing demand in illegal elephant ivory, mostly from Asian countries such as China.

The meeting stressed the need for stronger enforcement and intelligence-led pursuit of high-level wildlife traffickers. The environmental crime summit also discussed the problem of illegal wildlife trade over the internet, and called for more action to be taken to ban internet trading in endangered species.

Read the complete article on the site of The Guardian

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